An East African Customs Union?

By Omolo, Leo Odera | African Business, October 1998 | Go to article overview

An East African Customs Union?


Omolo, Leo Odera, African Business


Major Western donors are reportedly pushing for the establishment of a customs union for the East African region, which would make it possible for Ugandan importers to pay their taxes at the Kenyan port of Mombasa. The commissioner in charge of tax policy at Uganda's Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Mr Patrick Ocailap, said that The World Bank had approved a study for the establishment of such a union, with a structure similar to that of the South African Customs Union (SACU).

The commissioner said that the concept of Ugandan importers paying their taxes at the Kenyan port had been under discussion since April last year, but that its implementation would not be possible before certain issues, such as the convertibility of the Kenyan shilling, were sorted out.

He asked: "For example, Uganda operates a cash budget and if Kenya collects the taxes and remits the money at a loss because of differences in exchange rates, who will bear the loss? And in case of a disagreement, who does the arbitration?" The commissioner also said that collecting taxes at Mombasa would go a long way towards curbing smuggling and the diversion of transit goods. He refused however to speculate on exactly when the new system is likely to be in place.

Items such as oil, fuel and cigarettes are most pone to smuggling. Industry estimates put the government's annual revenue losses through cigarette smuggling at between Ushs9bn ($7.5m) and Ushs12bn ($10m). Lower tax rates in both Kenya and Tanzania have led to increased cigarette smuggling, as smugglers are able to sell their products in Uganda at half the price. Over 50% of the retail price of every cigarette is paid to the government in taxes.

The smuggling of uncustomed goods has been a regional problem for years. Since the setting up of the East African Cooperation in 1966 revenue authorities from the three countries have been looking into ways and means of tackling the problem jointly. Most recently, a series of joint meetings have been held in the last year or so to exchange information on the harmonisation of taxes and tariffs and the collection of import duties.

Uganda

Being a landlocked country and depending heavily on the Mombasa port for imports and exports, Uganda experiences the highest levels of smuggling in the region. Observers say smuggling intensified when the Uganda Anti-Smuggling Unit was disbanded in mid-1996. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

An East African Customs Union?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.